Oil Information



Oil is a mixture of two organic compounds carbon and hydrogen. It seeps naturally to the Earth's surface along fault lines and cracks in rocks, where it contaminates water as tar, asphalt or bitumen deposits. It ranges in color from almost clear to green, amber, brown or black. It may flow like water or creep like molasses. It is described as "sweet" or "sour" depending on the presence or absence of sulfur and other impurities.


Oil is the remains of microscopic animals and plants,zooplankton and phytoplankton, that floated on the surface of lakes and seas millions of years ago.After the plankton died it drifted downward, mixing with sediments of mud and silt. As the time passed, the layers of sediment covered the decaying animals and plants, and kept burying them deeper and deeper until the pressure and temperature rose, transforming the plankton into oil.


Oil is vital part of the U.S. economy and the facilitates our everyday lives. Thirty-eight percent of America's total energy comes from oil, including 97 percent for transportation. Oil and natural gas provide the building blocks for many products. Prescription drugs, plastic intravenous (IV) bags and sterile syringe are a few examples. As computers, cellular phones, pagers and fax machines, they allow us to communicate more efficiently. Oil has enabled substantial growth in technology and travel.


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